Edinburg Methodist Episcopal Church. —But limited satisfaction was derived in tracing the early history of Methodism in the city of Edinburg, as the records of the first class have long since been lost or misplaced. According to the most reliable information it appears that a small class was organized about three miles north west of Edinburg, on Sugar Creek, early in the twenties, and for some years public worship was held in private residences, principally in the dwelling of an early settler by the name of Gifford. The preaching was done by traveling missionaries, who visited the neighborhood at regular intervals. Unfortunately the names of these early pioneers of the Cross have been forgotten. Among the early members of the old Sugar Creek class are remembered Wiliam [sic] Freeman, Isaac Marshall, Arthur Robinson, Mr. Gifford, and members of their respective families, all of whom have long since passed from the “church militant to the church triumphant.” One of the early preachers, but by no means the earliest, was Rev. Mr. Strange, who is remembered as a very devoted and earnest Christian man, and a good pulpit orator. After meeting for two or three years on Sugar Creek, it was decided to move the organization to Edinburg, where services were afterward held in the private residence of William Hunt, one of the earliest Methodists of the town. Here the class continued to meet until the erection of a house of worship by the Edniburg Benevolent Society, after which services were regularly held in said building for several years, the congregation increasing in numbers and influence in the meantime. In 1846, a frame building for the especial use of the congregation was erected on Walnut Street.

            It was made a station some time in the fifties, and since 1860, has been ministered to by the following pastors in the order named, to-wit: Andrew Hester, David Stiver, John F. McClain, Jesse Brockway, Samuel Noble, William Mopin, John K. Pye, Enoch G. Wood, Robert Roberts, Francis Potts, Dr. Gelet, Robert Roberts, Henry E. Woods, Charles W. Lee, James W Turner, and Martin L. Wells, at the present time. The church prospered greatly under the ministry of Rev. J. K. Pye, whose labors were blessed by large increase in the membership, Rev. Mr. Roberts also was instrumental in strengthening the church, and during the pastorates of Revs. Lee, Turner and Wood, large revivals were held resulting in many additions to the congregation. In 1869, a movement was inaugurated for the erection of a building of enlarged proportions. Accordingly, a beautiful lot on the corner of Main and Thompson streets was procured for the purpose. Work upon the new building was pushed forward as rapidly as circumstances would permit, and the structure fully completed, was formally dedicated on the year of 1870. It is a handsome brick edifice, the main building, 45x70 feet in size, connected with a chapel, 30x50 feet, the whole representing a capital of $16,000. The seating capacity is fully 800. The membership is now 280. A large and flourishing Sunday school is sustained through out the year.

 

Banta, D.D.. History of Johnson County, Indiana 1888 . Chicago, IL: Brant & Fuller, 1888. pp 865-866

Transcribed by Lois Johnson